The Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTAG) has entered into a partnership with The National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting play for children of all abilities. This year, the Lekotek Super Power Sensory Hour will allow families who have children with special needs to attend the ChiTAG fair an hour earlier than the general public.
Through September 1, toy and gaming industry professionals may submit nominations online for the 2015 Toy & Game Inventor of the Year (TAGIE) Awards, scheduled to take place during Chicago Toy & Game Week. Presented by Hasbro, the awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of inventors, designers, and industry leaders.
The Toy Industry Foundation (TIF) and the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association, as well as CASA of Cook County, hosted nearly 500 Chicago-area foster children at Play Your Part–Chicago on July 16 at U.S. Cellular Field. TIF provided more than 3,700 playthings valued at more than $50,000 to foster children served by CASA of Cook County. Kids ages 3 through teens will be gifted with additional new toys to help celebrate birthdays, holidays, and special occasions.
Women in Toys (WIT) is reaching out to its community of exceptional toy industry women in the hopes of rallying support for Play Your Part—Chicago, an event benefiting hundreds of local foster children that will be held at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago on July 16. The event is hosted by the Toy Industry Foundation (TIF), in partnership with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children.
Producer, actor, and game inventor Laura Robinson will host playCHIC, the innovative play-inspired fashion show, at the upcoming Chicago Toy & Game Fair. In addition, Robinson will serve as a keynote speaker at the Toy & Game Inventor Conference. Both events are part of Chicago Toy & Game Group’s (ChiTAG) annual week of toy and industry-related events.
PlayCHIC combines fashion with top toys during ChiTAG’s Chicago Toy & Game Week. In its third year, the runway show will pair couture designers with familiar toy and game brands to pioneer unexpected and creative designs.
Robinson is the co-owner of Out & About Productions LLC, partial creator of, and contributing producer for Celebrity Name Game, and previously starred in shows like Night Heat, Cheers, and Frasier. As a toy and game inventor, Robinson co-created the board game Balderdash in 1984, which has since has sold more than twenty million copies worldwide.
The 2014 playCHIC show will take place on November 20 at Alhambra Palace Restaurant in Chicago.
Hasbro Inc. and 3DPlusMe are introducing Super Awesome Me, a personalized 3-D printing experience that allows kids (and those who are kids at heart) to become Captain America or Iron Man. The initiative provides fans with a customized, 12-inch action figure through an in-store experience. In conjunction with Disney Consumer Products’ Marvel Super Hero September celebration, the Super Awesome Me experience will launch at ten Wal-Mart and two Sam’s Club locations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston between September 19 and 28.
Fans visit an in-store scanning station, where a 3-D face scanner captures their likeness to create a 3-D model. Each Super Awesome Me figure, recommended for fans ages 4 years and up, features a traditional articulated plastic action figure body and full-color 3-D printed head. Figures are available for pick-up at Wal-Mart locations or shipped to Sam’s Club customers in four weeks.
More information on the Super Awesome Me experience, as well as a full list of participating Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations, is available at superawesomeme.com.
As reported by the Chicago Toy & Game Group, Leslie Scott, the inventor of Jenga, will be a keynote speaker headlining the 2014 Toy & Game Inventor & Innovation Conferences (T&GCon, I-SPI & IRS) on November 20 and 21 at Chicago’s Navy Pier. To celebrate Scott’s involvement at this year’s T&GCon, attendees of the conferences will receive a copy of her book, About Jenga: The Remarkable Business of Creating a Game that Became a Household Name.
T&GCon is open to anyone interested in getting involved with the toy and game industry, while I-SPI and IRS are invitation only events that bring together seasoned professionals. Anyone interested in an application to attend I-SPI and IRS can visit www.inventorsummit.com.
The Chicago, Ill., headquarters of Radio Flyer Inc. has received platinum certification for its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Focused on environmentally sustainable practices, the certification acknowledges key design decisions, including the renovation of existing warehouse space, dedicated on-site recycling areas, and geo-thermal heating and cooling systems.
Radio Flyer renovated 70,000 of its 150,000 square foot space into an open concept area featuring wooden beams, natural lighting, an indoor and outdoor paly lab, eco-friendly parking lot, and landscaped “backyard” complete with native prairie plants. Other “green” solutions include cisterns that retain 10,000 gallons of storm water, which is re-purposed for fertilizer-free irrigation, bike storage and locker room for employees who bike to work, and a preferred parking area for high efficiency, low emission cars.
Got plans this weekend? This past April 1, it appeared that toddlers had taken over Boon’s social media pages, and while that turned out to be an April Fool’s joke, many of the random photos posted by Boon are part of a larger social media game. Indeed, photos found at Boon’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest pages contain “clues” about specialty retailers in the Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles areas.
Details on how to decipher these clues have been posted in videos on Boon’s blog. Through Sunday, any fans in those cities who figure out the clues—and subsequently check-in at the specialty retailer in their city on Foursquare—will receive a discount code for 20 percent off Boon products.
The Chicago Toy & Game Group is hosting three events for the toy and game industry this November. The Toy and Game Industry Networking and Inventor Conference event will be held at Chicago’s Navy Pier from November 18-19. Jill Moore from Disney Consumer Products and Steve Rehkemper of Rehkemper Design and Innovation will present the welcome.
The Toy and Game Inventors of the Year Awards Dinner (TAGI Awards) will be held on November 19 at the Museum of Science and Industry, which features a private viewing of the Jim Henson Retrospective Exhibit. Eddy Goldfarb will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement award. Hasbro is the presenting sponsor.
The Chicago Toy and Game Fair will be held November 20-21. Open to the public, ChiTAG allows exhibitors to meet consumers face-to-face.